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Know! Your! Foe! - Penn update.

One final Know! Your! Foe! update before the end of the regular season courtesy's Jonathan Tannenwald.

If you want to read his original take on the Quakers, please check out this post from January.

Additionally, if you cover a team the Tigers will face down the line, let us know. It would be great to talk with you.

Penn update:

It’s a long way down from demanding perennial Ivy League championships to just hoping for consistency.

I know I don’t need to tell you or anyone associated with Princeton just how fast that fall can occur, and I know Tigers fans have had as good a seat as anyone to watch what Penn has gone through in recent years.

Well, Penn has finally found consistency – of a kind. Saturday night’s loss at Yale meant that the Quakers split all six Ivy weekends this season.

Friday night’s win over Brown at the Pizzitola Center was one of the most dramatic I’ve ever seen. I thought the refs got it right that Miles Cartwright was fouled in the act of shooting before the horn sounded; all of the Brown fans disagreed. Regardless, I thought that the way in which Cartwright stepped up in the last two minutes could be a spark to finally getting a weekend sweep.

For most of the first half Saturday at Yale, that happened. Penn held a two-possession lead for a pretty good chunk of the opening 20 minutes, but got sloppy in the closing stages. Still, a one-point halftime lead was something to work with.

It all fell apart, though. The Bulldogs’ defense ratcheted up to another level, and their offense scored a whopping 1.315 points per possession in the second half.

Yale led by multiple possessions much of the second half. Penn cut 10-point deficits to five a few times, but when the Bulldogs re-extended their lead in the last three minutes there was no sign of anything resembling a comeback.

Jerome Allen was as dejected as I’ve ever seen him afterward. His freshman guards, Tony Hicks and Jamal Lewis, really haven’t grown up all that much this season; and Miles Cartwright can’t carry the load alone the way Zack Rosen did. Not that anyone really could, granted, and Yale’s frenetic style has caused problems for teams across the Ivy League. James Jones earned that third-place finish as much as Penn threw away a lot of opportunities this season to get to the same record.

A few people have started to ask aloud whether Allen should go as head coach. I think losing his assistant coaching staff last offseason – especially tactical expert Dan Leibovitz - had a huge impact.

So Tuesday’s game isn’t worth anything but pride for either team. You’d like to think that will be enough to motivate the players in a Penn-Princeton contest. It will certainly be enough for Jerome Allen and Mitch Henderson. If Penn wins, it would give the fan base – and I’d like to think the players – reason for optimism.

But the manner of Saturday’s losses by both Penn and Princeton leaves me thinking that the players are going to have to motivate themselves, instead of having some external factor do it for them. That has been a challenge all year for the Quakers, since the Ivy League title was never truly in play. It’s a sign of the team’s lack of progress that it remains the case now.

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